Chapter 217: Mischief
Upon making his way onto the golden airship, Jian Lei was instantly greeted by a dozen or so people, who wore matching white colored uniforms that had Jade colored serpents sewed onto them.
“Sect Master.” They all said in unison ignoring freezing rain that was showering down upon them.
“As I’ve said before, no need for all of these formalities… Once father finishes his indoor medication, I'll be handing back the position of sect master to him.” Jian Lei said as he pushed open a pair of large golden doors and entered into a lavishly decorated room where many intimidating people could be seen meditating.
“Sect master!” The dozen or so intimidating people spoke in unison upon Jian Lei’s arrival.
“Sorry if I'm disturbing but it appears we are here. Although I don't see an enemy camp anywhere.” Jian Lei said as he made his way toward a large glass window where a large city whose walls were encrusted with massive clam shells could be seen.
“Shall we deploy our forces and take the initiative to search for the enemy?” An old man who wore an eyepatch over his right eye asked.
“No, as ordered by the sect master of the Golden Pearl Sect, we are to not act until they give the word. There is no need to be in a hurry, as a new friend had just told me, only hot headed fools would charge in first. If we were to recklessly charge into an enemy ambush, then we would suffer a lot of casualties. If anything we just have to ask those people down there that arrived before us.” Jian Lei said with a laugh as he continued to gaze out of the glass window in front of him and toward Golden Shell City and the countless tents belonging to the various forces that had gathered before their arrival.
“It seems more fun is about to begin.” Zhang said with a face full of anticipation as he and his wives gazed at the horizon where thousands of flying ships could be seen. Currently, they were seated on the edge of a cliff that overlooked hundreds of jagged rocks sticking out of the water below.
“Haven’t you had enough fun?” Ling asked Zhang in a gentle voice as she glanced at the hundreds of corpses that were bobbing about in the water below the cliff where they were seated.
A few individuals who were overcome by greed had actually challenged Zhang to a duel before the arrival of the Golden Pearl Sect, in the hopes of either making a name for themselves, gaining the favor the Golden Pearl Sect or obtaining the piece of the Ascending Beauty Painting that he was rumored to have.
Of course, most of these individuals were quickly slain or sent scurrying away with their tails between their legs by Zhang. But not before a few hundred corpses had sunken beneath the waves.
“At most those guys were a warm up.” Zhang said with a laugh.
Before long a swarm of flying demonic beasts and all sorts of flying magical contraptions stormed out of the airships floating in the sky and began to surround the small island where Zhang’s coalition was encamped.
“You guys stay here and ready our forces, I’m going out for a little walk.” Zhang said as he planted a light kiss onto Yuying’s face before pushing himself off the ledge of the cliff where they had been sitting and shooting into the sky as an encirclement began to form above.
Seeing the arrival forces of the Golden Pearl Sect, all of those who had come to either watch or participate in the coming battle quickly gathered their forces and took them to sky also. While a few sent representatives to offer their services to the Gold Pearl Sect, others kept their distances and wait for the show to begin.
There were a few who had witnessed a bit of Zhang’s power and choose to align themselves with him, however, they were few in number and were comprised mostly of regular cultivators and a few lesser saints who wouldn’t have a very substantial influence on the battle.
Then there were a few who hadn’t witnessed Zhang’s power and instead of watching from the sidelines or consulting the Golden Pearl sect, charged directly toward him once he had flown a short distance from the island.
“Fodder…” Zhang mumbled as he used the power of the Underworld Heart to create a large sword out of thin air.
“Kill him and not only will our names be known throughout the Eastern Sea but the Golden Pearl Sect will be eternally indebted to us!” A massively built woman wielding a large ax while dressed in tight leather said in an excited voice as she led a group consisting of fifty other women who were equally as massive in a charge directed at Zhang.
“Interesting, flying level ten cultivators.” Zhang thought as his divine sense swept across the group of massively built women and found out that amongst their group there was only a lesser saint while the rest were only level ten cultivators.
“Must be some kind of magical item.” Zhang thought before preparing to engage the incoming group.
“Sword Cage Formation!” One of the women yelled as their group scattered and encircled Zhang.
“Although I'm flattered that this many women are flocking to me. Sadly, four is already more than enough.” Zhang said as his eyes scanned the buff looking women, trying to locate the magical treasure that was allowing them to fly.
“Found it.” Zhang mumbled as he noticed the intricate looking runes engraved into the boots that these women were wearing.
With a twinkle in his eye unleashed the power of the Abyssal Cape and conjured a swarm of Abyssal Sparrows that flocked out from his shadow and toward his attackers while he himself refocused his attention on the only saint level cultivator in their group.
Like skillful thieves, the sparrows undid the laces of the boots that allowed Zhang’s attackers to fly and before anyone could do anything they found themselves plummeting toward the shifting waves below.
In the meantime, Zhang had quickly disabled his opponent with a few attacks dropped her from the sky to accompany her comrades.
Then with a quick wave of his hand to store way the flying magical boots that he had just acquired, Zhang was on his merry way only to find himself surrounded by more and more enemies.
“Quickly! Kill him before anyone can come to his aid!”
“Hurry before someone else does him in!”
A fury of yells and roars belonging to many brave or rather foolish, men and women reverberated through the air as they all charged at Zhang one after the other with weapons drawn and greed filled eyes.
“Maybe it’s because I had sparred the first group, they think they can beat me…” Zhang thought as he flipped his hand and withdrew the Rising Moon Sword from his interspatial ring.
“You lot will make a fine example to all who wish to get in my way!” Zhang roared as a large singularity appeared at the tip of the Rising Moon Sword and shot out into the air where it began to exert an irresistible suction force that drew in a large portion of Zhang’s attackers.
In a flicker without uttering a single word, Zhang create a thin spatial rift which he stabbed the Rising Moon Sword into and slashed a hundred enemies into halves causing a wave of fear to strike into the hearts of many.
In little to no time at all, a shower of limbs belonging to both humans and demonic beasts alike, chummed the waters below, reminding all of the regular cultivators present the difference between them and a saint level expert, reminding all of the lesser saints present the difference between them and a full saint.
“Now that I have everyone’s attention, I have a few things to say. First off I would like to thank everyone for taking the time out of their busy lives to be present today. Second I would like to ask you all why have you come here.” Zhang spoke in a loud tone that echoed into the ears of all who were present, regardless of whether they were a dozen feet away or a mile away from where he stood.
“We want the Ascending Beauty Painting! Hand it over and our Water Talon Sect will be our way!” A loud voice rumbled across the air.
“We’ve come to aid the mighty Golden Pearl Sect!” Another voice sounded out.
“Hand over the painting!”
“Hand over the Ascending Beauty!”
“Give up and surrender the painting to us!”
“No, give it to us! Not them!”
A babble of voices rang out as countless people gave voice to the reason as to why they were present. But oddly enough none of the people under the banner of the Golden Pearl Sect uttered a single word.
“So if I hand over the painting then most of you will leave me and my people alone?” Zhang said with a calm smile on his face as the sword he had created using the power of the Underworld Heart disintegrated while he flipped his hand a produced a single piece of paper in his hand
“That's the Ascending Beauty Painting!”
“Yes! Hand over the painting!” A storm of voices sounded out once again.
“Then what if I did this?” Zhang said with a devious smile on his face as he stored away the Rising Moon Sword and snapped his fingers, igniting a tiny flickering flame that danced about on the tip of his index finger.
As Zhang moved the parchment in his hand closer to the flickering flame, while the regular cultivators watched with gaping eyes, tens of dozens of lesser saints and full saints from countless different forces flew through the sky like piercing swords with the same thought in mind. That is to say, the Golden Pearl Sect and their bannerman did not move a single inch at all.
“Kill him! Take and retrieve the piece of the painting!”
With a grin that almost stretched from ear to ear, Zhang continued to move his hands closer together, a group of full saints was upon him.
“I’m just kidding, you guys can have it” Zhang said with a laugh as he tossed up the piece of parchment in his hand and retreated.
“Luckily no high saints acted.” He thought as he watched a group of five full saints began fighting one another to obtain the piece of parchment he had tossed into the air.
Before long, another group of full saints joined the fray, and another and another, until an all-out brawl had broken loose.
“The painting is mine!” Someone yelled as they managed to grab hold of the piece of parchment, however, a fraction of a second later the piece of parchment found itself in the possession of another person, much to Zhang’s entertainment.
“Time to add to the fun.” Zhang said in a mischievous tone as he flipped his hand and made a large stack of pieces of parchment appear in his hand.
“Are you guys sure that piece of paper is really a piece of the Ascending Beauty Painting?” Zhang asked in a loud tone as he tossed up the stack of different shaped paper in his hand and allowed them to be carried away by the blowing breeze.
Seeing so many pieces of parchment fluttering about in the air, everyone ceased fighting and sped through the sky in order to obtain a piece for themselves.
Since there was no telling which piece of paper was a real piece of the Ascending Beauty Painting, everyone simply tried to the utmost best of their ability to collect as many pieces of paper as possible.
By now even regular cultivators who had been watching from afar sped forward and attempted to obtain one of the thousands of pieces of paper.
Of course, there were a few who more bright minded people who went directly for Zhang instead of joining the rest of flock. However, regardless of how many people teamed up against him, none were able to so as much lay a single finger on Zhang.
“Shouldn’t you guys be over there trying to find out which one is the real piece of the painting?” Zhang laughed as he reached out his hand and grabbed onto a lesser saint and used the poor soul as a human shield, blocking a wave of sword intent.
“No need to take us for fools, there’s no way anyone would give up a piece of that painting on their own accord!” A full saint wielding a pair of maces roared angrily.
“Are you so sure?” Zhang said as he pointed his finger toward a level ten cultivator not too far away. To be exact he was pointing at a glowing piece of paper being held in the level ten cultivator’s hand.
“Oh my gosh! That guy over there has the real piece of the Ascending Beauty Painting!!!” Yuying’s voice could be heard coming out from the mob of scrambling people.
“It heard that when two pieces of the painting are in close proximity of each other, they begin to glow!” Ling’s voice soon followed.
“Then that means someone else here has a piece of the painting in their possession!” Lingqi’s cry could also be heard.
“That guy had touched that piece of the painting before it began to light up!” Ai could be heard saying while her finger could be seen pointing into a crowd of people, with no one, in particular, being singled out.
“Everyone get them!” Zhang yelled before joining up with his wives and watching the epic brawl begin once again.
“You fools! Can’t you see they are tricking all of you into fighting amongst yourselves? The pieces of the Ascending Beauty Painting don’t react to each other at all and appear no different from any regular piece of paper!” A balding man in golden robes, wielding a monk’s staff yelled.
“How do you know that?” Ling asked.
“He must have a piece of the painting! Everyone get him!” Yuying yelled while a devious grin similar to Zhang’s appeared on her face. Before long a mob charged at the balding man dressed in golden robes.
“Let the mischief continue I guess.” Zhang thought with a chuckle.